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Valentine’s Day For Two: A Guide For First-Timers

In the bright early days of a new relationship, Valentine’s Day may seem like a fun opportunity to get to know each other better and exchange a few cute gifts. But even if you’re not the most sentimental person in the world, it can be nerve-wracking to navigate your first Valentine’s Day with a new partner. Maybe you’re not sure how much time and money to spend on a gift, or maybe you’re worried about sending the wrong message by giving anything at all. Or perhaps you’re concerned that your partner will think that this is going to be some over-the-top romantic display when all you want is a low-key evening together.

If you don’t want to spend this Valentine’s Day stressing out about getting it just right, here are some suggestions for navigating the holiday ahead of time.

  • Ask about their expectations. If you’re unsure how your partner is going to handle Valentine’s Day, the first step is to find out how they usually celebrate. Do they prefer a fancy dinner or fun activity? Are they more comfortable with a low-key affair? Asking these questions can help you narrow down possible gifts and activities that will make them feel comfortable but still special.
  • Pick an activity. If you just started seeing someone, a Valentine’s Day gift might be too much pressure and you don’t have enough material to plan anything creative yet — so stick with an activity instead. Try planning something casual like drinks at a local bar or dinner at your favorite restaurant. This way, in case things don’t work out, there isn’t any pressure.
  • Don’t be afraid to show some PDA. Even if your relationship is still in the “casual” stage, Valentine’s Day calls for some extra attention and mushiness. Send a sweet text in the morning; write a cute note on your Starbucks cup before work; hold hands in public; give them a little peck in front of their friends — things like that will be sweet yet understated, without going overboard.
Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.